Understanding and Building Resilience

What is it?  Who Has it?  How Do We Build it?

Copyright 2009, Pamela Woll

One common definition of resilience is the ability to meet challenges and bounce back after difficult experiences.  If you’re not sure how resilience is different from strengths, skills, or resources, don’t worry.  It’s more important to have it than to know exactly what to call it. 

Everybody has resilience.  We all have strengths, skills, and resources in many areas of life—body, brain, thoughts, feelings, family, friends, values, beliefs, education, training, work, finances, sports, creativity, spirituality, even goofing off.  These all add to our resilience, and the fact that we have resilience—that we’re able to live through difficult things and learn from them—helps build our strengths, skills, and resources even more.  Resilience feeds itself.